Pulled Pork Butt Fatcap

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by acewestern, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Hi people, first post so please be gentle. Im smoking my first pork butt this weekend for pulled pork. My question is what do I do with the fat cap? Remove? Score? Leave alone? Im thinking of scoring before I put the rub on but im not 100% if that's best. Many thanks in advance for the help.
  2. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try it different ways each time to see what you like! Pretty helpful wasn't I.:biggrin: I have been cutting all the visible fat to get more bark personally. Just remember to take your time they can go for along time,good luck!
  3. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    That piece kind of looks like a ham or picnic. Does it have skin on it? If so the skin will not render and get crispy at low smoking temps. For the best rub penetration I would remove the skin first. Scoring the fat has worked well for me. All depends how much fat you want to leave on there. I always think the fattier the better haha
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That is not a butt and appears to be skin on. Smoke the same way as a butt however, Remove the skin but smoke it with the meat. Dogs love strips to chew or add the skin to beans or greens...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  5. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Adam, looks like a bone out Shoulder Joint, which with out special order from a good butcher is the regular cut you will get. This is the problem we face here in the UK, our American friends also have differant names and terms for meat etc. Still will cook great for Pulled Pork!

    Remove the skin and trim some of the fat, not all. The melting fat will help to baste the meat and keep it from drying out, and also add flavour.
  6. Thanks for the replies guys. I'll be opening a post to try to find a localish butcher who knows what I need in future.

    So i'm gonna take the skin off (nice bit o crackling) and take off just enough fat so it's even all over, I'm not losing too much of that fat lol.

    Smoking on Sunday so i'll take some pics n put on how it goes. Fingers crossed........

    Thanks for the advice[​IMG]
  7. Here we go.................

    So this is it after I've removed the skin and, because of not having the sharpest knife, more fat than i'd have liked. I think it's part picnic, part butt maybe? Not 100% sure with the cuts yet.
  8. This is what was left of the skin.....

    These are gonna make some nice crackling fingers!!

    I wish i'd have left more of the fat on the pork though.
  9. Rub applied, now in the fridge over night. It's gonna have to go in the oven first cuz it's typically gonna be raining here in the morning. Still hoping to get 6-8hrs actually smoking.
  10. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Adam, you can add more than one photo per thread.

    Write something add photo, write something add photo.

    Yes it's going to be wet for the next 12 hours, look forward to your cook
  11. So here's how it went......

    I started it in the oven at 4am and was able to get it outside on the smoker at 9 til half 1. Not quite as much as I'd have liked but hey ho, british weather and all that..

    Here was just before the oven, 45mins after taking out from the fridge.

    Smoker in action midway through the cook. I didn't take a pic when it came out the oven cuz I ran it straight outside lol!

    I know its cheap gear but it does do the job and I didn't want to spend too much if I wasn't gonna get into it. (Better gear next year now i'm hooked)

    Here's the firebox setup, Chip basket works quite nice as a charcoal basket. The wood chips in the foil packet weren't giving much smoke at first so i'd put the odd few right onto the coals. I'd be interested to hear tips for best wood chip use.

    These little beauties worked out just fine. Plenty of salt, then put in the oven as pictured with another sheet of baking paper, another baking tray on top then an oven dish on top to weigh it down. 1hr at 200c, turning once, then crackling fingers are born!

    And after 9.5hrs of cooking, it was done at 195f. Wrapped her up in plenty of foil for an hour before pulling.

    After pulling a huge hunk of it with bear claws and getting eaten I realized I hadn't done a pic lol. To be completely honest, it wasn't as tender and melt-in-the-mouth as I thought it would be. I think partly because there wasn't as much fat through it as a proper butt cut would have had. But the bark was just the best pork I've ever eaten so was worth it just for that and there were certainly no complaints.

    I forgot to take pics of it but I served up a homemade coleslaw to go with it on buns and of course some BBQ sauce. Gonna try homemade sauce sometime soon but stuck with bottled for now, Anybody in the UK looking for a great BBQ sauce can occasionally find Sweet Baby Rays in B&M stores. They don't always have it but when they do it's only £1.29 and is gorgous!

    Any advice for future smokes based on what I did would only be appreciated and thanks for all the help and advice so far!!!
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks good. Letting it cook longer, IT of 200+ will make it more juicy as more collagen is converted. Give the sauce below a shot...JJ

    KC Bubba Q Juice

    2C Ketchup

    1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)

    1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar

    1/2C Molasses

    2C Dark Brn Sugar

    1T Tomato Paste

    1T Your Rub

    1-2tsp Liquid Smoke

    1tsp Worcestershire Sauce

    Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.

    Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

    Makes 3 1/2 Cups.
    himdaddy likes this.
  13. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like your first pulled pork was a success . But I agree with chef JJ, add some finishing sauce it makes a world of difference
  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yea like the above said, you just didn't cook it long enough.

    I take mine to 200-205. Then check for probe tenderness & to see if the bone is loose.

    Also a finishing sauce is a must. That is what will separate you from the rest of the crowd.

  15. Thanks guys, I appreciate the comments. Will definitely do a sauce for next time, this summer again hopefully. Was gonna try something else next time but I've got unfinished business with a pork butt (proper one this time) and I could definitely eat it again lol.
  16. boblloyd91

    boblloyd91 Fire Starter

    Good job! I really enjoy doing Boston butt roast. I personally have enjoyed cooking it in a way similar to brisket and not trim the fat off and let the juices from the fat percolate through the meat to keep it tender.
  17. backpacker048

    backpacker048 Fire Starter

    Good job, looks great.
    I, too, am a "newbie " so you can take my comments pretty lightly. Anyway, I trim as much of the fat off as possible. I find most people don't like hunks of fat in their BBQ. I cooked my third butte this weekend and it turned out great. I used Bear's ste-by-step for pulled pork recipe. Try it, you'll like it. I pulled it from the smoker at 207 degree's F, cut it across the grain in 1-2 inch strips,and it was easy pulling.

    As far as the smoke goes, I have found using an A-maz-n smoke tray filled halfway up with wood pellets produces great smoke and a full tray will last 12+ hours.

    Keep at it. You're doing great.


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